More than a hundred children, some of whom had been forced into prostitution as young as 13, are safe following a nationwide sweep targeting human trafficking operations.
Among those recovered is a 14 year old Sacramento girl taken into custody by Reno Police detectives.
A Carmichael, California couple, Shanequa and Jamourian Charles, were arrested and charged with bringing the girl to Reno and marketing her for sex on the internet.
They're being held in Washoe County jail on charges of conspiracy and sex trafficking of a child.
The girl is in the Jan Evans Detention Center, but officers say like other young people forced or lured into prostitution, she's properly viewed as a victim.
"We have taken the mind set that these girls are victims of exploitation who are conducting criminal behavior which makes it a little bit gray," says Sgt. Ron Chalmers of RPD's Street Enforcement Team,"but we have committed ourselves to treating these girls as victims, providing them with resources to get them out of that lifestyle moving forward."
In fact, he said, a counselor attached to the F-B-I was already working to find alternative housing and other support for the girl while her family situation is further investigated.
Although some may find the age of the girl surprising, it's nothing new to Chalmers or his officers.
"ere in our community we've recovered 12 year olds, 13 year olds and 14 year olds. So it's not unusual, but it's still heart breaking to hear about a 14 year old. It's even more heartbreaking to set across the table and talk with her."
The case is a first test for a new Nevada law which went into effect July 1, making it easier to prosecute pimps and easier to protect and help their young victims.
"Operation Cross Country" involved FBI agents and officers in 76 different cities.
Here in Reno, 12 adults were also arrested for solicitation,